“Reading for writers is like training for athletes.”

-Linda Sue Park

Reading is one of the most important things in one’s life. A person who reads is more logical and analytical. He gets exposed to different cultures, histories and ideas from across the globe. These along with several other reasons make reading an essential requirement for writers from all genres.

As a fiction writer I need to create scenery in the minds of my readers. The characters, the setting, even the dialogues should create an everlasting impact on the minds of my readers. And for that I need a rich vocabulary and an excellent expression to get a grip over their minds. In order to make an expression as a storyteller, I need to read a lot so that my writing doesn’t lag in the required areas.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write.”

-Stephen King


  1. Builds a rich vocabulary- Reading books, articles, magazines or journals have one thing in common. They have words. Lots and lots of words. And that is what is needed by us writers. We need to play and juggle around with words, phrases and idioms in order to make our work eye catching and attention grabbing. In order to keep our writing fresh, we need to have a rich vocabulary which is possible only when we read a lot.
  2. Helps generate impressive expressions- For a story teller expression is king. By expression, I mean you must show and not tell. This further means that one must not use a lot of adjectives and adverbs in their writing. Instead one must use words and phrases which bring out the meaning through the character’s expression or actions. Example- Instead of saying- he was angry. Say- he clenched his jaw and punched the wall. That’s expression and this can be mastered when we read a lot of work related to our genre of writing. If you write horror stories then read a lot of horror. If you talk about management skills then read a lot about management.
  3. Generates new ideas- We need new ideas if we want to be successful in our writing profession. Unless we come out with something new every time, chances are our readers will get bored of us. In order to keep things exciting and interesting we need to come up with new ideas. These can include story lines, characters, plot or a new genre. For non- fiction writers reading autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs and sportsmen proves to be extremely beneficial. It helps them to quote from these books and enrich their work at the same time.
  4. Inspires- We all feel the blues every now and then. We slouch our shoulders and accept defeat. That’s when   motivational articles or books come in handy. We all need motivation, a hint of inspiration to keep moving forward. Life Coaches like Robin Sharma who has written tons of books himself never stops reading. Why? Because even the masters need inspiration and new ideas to work on their next project.
  5. Helps experimenting with narration styles- There are mainly three types of narration styles– first person, second person and third person. As a writer we might be comfortable with one of them but to keep things interesting and avoiding them from getting stale, we need to try other styles as well. We can only do that if we read books written in these different narration styles.
  6. Helps us improve- When we read other people’s work it provides us an insight of our own work. This insight is extremely important because it tells us where we are standing in our professional journey. I believe there is always a scope for improvement and this insight can prove to be beneficial if we keep an open mind to it. We’ll know whether we are good, crappy or amazing. Whatever the result might be just keep on improving.

“In order to be a good writer, one has to be a better reader.”

-Ritiqa Pachauri

Reading is a necessity for writers. Just like air is for all living beings on planet. We cannot survive for long without it.

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